Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (4) – News From Dan – October 21, 1945

Dan Guion, far left, working in France after his marriage.

Dear Dan:

I received your letter of Oct. 8th. To wit: “I have been transferred out of the 1539th and into the 19th Separation Depot where I am busily sitting around waiting action on the discharge ritual. I shall send you my new address when. Paris must get along without me for the next two or three days, after which – – –?. Chiche (Dan’s special name for Paulette) left for Calais Sat. A.M. You can write to her there, 8 rue de Temple.

And yesterday I received your Oct. 3rd letter, as follows:” Far-reaching changes have developed during the last week. Hold your breath – – here it comes:

(1) I shall not get home for several months – – perhaps a year – – unless some unforeseen event crops up. (2) Within a week I expect to be a civilian. (3) I have found me a job with the Army on civil service – – surveying for “Graves Registration”. I do not know the details of the job yet, but this is what I am led to believe: the work will be surveying. A base pay rate is $2100 per year. I shall get 25% more for overseas service plus extra pay for any overtime that might develop. The quoted total is $3417 per year! Lodging will be furnished by the government at cheap rates, and food, too. I shall be entitled to Army rations such as PX, officers clothing and QM Sales. It is supposed that arrangements will be made soon to supply facilities for the families of such employees as desire them. The work might be in any part of the European theater. Contract will be for six months or a year, with a clause stating that if the work is finished sooner, I will be sent home at government expense. If this does not occur until next summer, I shall be able to come home with Chiche and any additions to the family which might exist at that time. Until I know better what to expect, Chiche will live in Calais. You may continue to send me packages and mail through Army P.O. but I suggest that you wait until I send you my new address. You can imagine how disappointed I am at not getting home. Before accepting employment here I tried every possibility to get Chiche home this year, but civilian agencies (Cooks, etc.) say that they can do absolutely nothing at the present time. On the other hand, my job is a good one. It pays well and might lead to a permanent job with the government back home. It’s a good solution to a knotty problem. I write again as news develops. None of the packages has arrived but I suppose they will reach me later at my new address.”

Tomorrow, I’ll conclude this lengthy letter with a note to Paulette.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Santa Claus (4) – A Letter From Dan About an Adventure – December 3, 1939

This letter from Dan to his older brother is typed on the back of Grandpa’s 3-page letter.

DBG - Dan (cropped) fron Ced, Dan and car - 1941

Daniel Beck Guion

ye El pueblito de Trumbull

Dec. 3

Que tal. chico,

Tenga una amiga en Valencia qui  escribe a mi de quando en quando. En la ultima carta yo le dije a me ella que si usted _ra a Valencia se puede visitarla. Ella se llama Carol Ravell. Su direccion esta Auto Mundial, Valencia. Es muy amiga mia. Le encontre a ella en el vapor Santa Paula en Julio.

 On Thanksgiving Day, while nuestro padre busied himself en la cochina, Ced, Barbie (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s girlfriend), Don Whitney y yo set out in your Packard for Greenfield Hill.Every Thanksgiving Day the Fairfield Country Hounds dress up in their round just bowlers and mount their most stalwart steeds for a bit of tally-ho before dinner. I have enclosed some actual photographs of the affair clipped from the Sunday Post.

They started from the Green, led by the hounds who, I am told, were pursuing a real fox.  We dashed from road to road in a perpetual attempt to intercept the hunt as it wandered from hill to veil in pursuit of the elusive animal.  It was quite a colorful affair.  All the officials were in red coats.  The rest wore Derby hats, held on by black silk ribbons clipped to the back of the brim.

In an excess of spirit we set off on a rough dirt road and were rather surprised when the front spring (not the one which I had noticed earlier!) was completely severed.  We could go forward, but not in reverse.  We parked in the road while we made a last attempt to locate the horseman before starting for home.  I became conscious of a desire to perform a natural process (liquid), and, to avoid the embarrassment of pardoning myself from the two gals present, I wandered absently I head on the old dirt road as if I were looking for the horses ….. A sort of (“see a man about a horse”) proposition with more truth than usual.  As my crank-case drained I became aware of a pattering of pause approaching along the road, but I could not see until it flashed interview from behind the convenient privet hedge that I was (and I swear this is the truth, so help me, and I have witnesses) the Fox! it was going like the much-expressed hammers of hell, only more so.  It glanced neither to the right or left.  There was no sign of pursuit, but that Fox was laying down its feet in the most purposeful manner possible, and it was heading straight toward the Packard! 

I started running after it, yelling to the rest of the gang who were standing near the car, “Here comes the Fox! Here comes the Fox!”, and just before Reynard reached the car, he caught sight of them, for he swerved suddenly, cleared the low stone wall which bordered the road in a single bound, then sped across the field out of sight.

Two Horsemen, cantering slowly along the road from the direction from which the fox had come, evidently on their way home from the hunt, passed us, and I said, “We have a broken spring, and we just saw the fox go by!”

“Oh, yea?” one of the man replied, and I suddenly realized that my story might receive the same treatment everywhere.  But all the gang saw clearly that it was a genuine fox, and, although he did not tarry (the fox, I mean) long enough to tell us whether or not he was THE fox, or merely a casual chicken killer from the surrounding countryside, we were satisfied that, since we had come to see a Fox-Hunt, we had not come in vain.

The spring replacement cost $17.49.

                                                                            Bueno, pues,

                                                                                            Dan

Tomorrow I will be posting a letter from Aunt Betty Duryee, with some information regarding the Duryee ancestors and her account of Thanksgiving.

Judy Guion

 

 

Trumbull – Dear T/3, T/4, T/5, Sgt. And Ski Instructor (3) – Quote of a Letter From Dan – December 10, 1944

Alfred Duryee Guion

And lastly, he asks about the “old multi-driven Chevy”, which he surmises is now relegated to an outside stall with natural air-conditioning, and the A.P. Guion vehicle once again occupies it’s once past headquarters. I shed a tear for the poor coupe. How undutiful, yet loved and, in a way, faithful, has she been.” You are partly right, Ced. “Honey-bunch”, as Marian terms her faithful “California and back” vehicle, together with her offspring, the trailer, shares quarters with her green counterpart in the old barn, but Chevy-chile, since summer time, has been trying to regain its health at the Kascak sanitarium (Kascak’s Garage, where Lad worked as a mechanic when he was a teenager) since summer, no major operation seemed necessary. Dr. A. P. (Alfred Peabody (Lad)) looked it over when he was home last and recommended a course of treatment, pending the time when one of you boys might be home and need a car to go around in. Then Steve (Kascak) phoned one day and asked if he might use it for a while when Bob was home and wanted to use his dad’s car to run around in, and since that time, it has not been “home”, primarily for the reason that there is no place “undercover” to keep it. I suspect if Dave comes home, however, it will see a spurt of active service for a spell.

Dan-uniform (2)

Daniel Beck Guion

Page 3    12/10/44

And Dan, old wielder of the facile pan, again came through with a letter written on some interesting paper – German paper which he found in an abandoned pillbox. On one side of the poor quality sheet is a long, printed list of German officers, Oberleutnant Bernhardt, von Bitter, Bronsart von Schellendorff, etc., and signed by DER FUHRER. He says: “We are leading a rather strange existence here in one of the most heavily bombed areas of the war. Today, for example, I am writing this letter on a piece of Jerry paper, in an abandoned block house. The weather is stormy. Only the fretful wind gusts playing strange Aeolian cords on the bits of wreckage and camouflage outside, break the macabre silence of desolate abandon. The floor is littered with debris – – a sort dishevelment, left, perhaps in part, by Jerry’s precipitate departure, in part by ransacking French civilians. Books, soiled paper, empty bottles, bits of wood, all safely protected from the violence of unceasing wind by 3 feet of solid reinforced concrete walls and ceilings. Through a doorway, past the heavy steel door hanging ajar, disjointed, I can see the neighboring hill. It’s profile is broken by the outlines of huge guns which a short while past reared angry defiance and hate and now lie in mute and hopeless resignation, pointing, impotent, toward England! Mars has swirled his puppets far to the east but he has written an ugly story on the ground that only temporal patience can woo to forgetfulness.

We are leading a cloistered existence, too, if you can call “cloistered” a life so close to the brutality of truth. No danger threatens now but the soil is so steeped in the fearful gash of danger’s corpse that the effect is more depressing than the real danger we experienced back in London. However, by “cloistered” I mean we are out of touch with the rest of the world – – even the war! For the first time in a week we heard last night the French army had broken through the Belfort Gap! Once again we dared to hope that the war might end this year – – perhaps by Christmas. My hope of becoming a true “Parisien” are as faded as a prewar French franc note. Those four brief days down in Paris, however, included an Armistice Day party in a French home, during which I discovered for the first time why French champagne is so celebrated the world over – – particularly when supplemented by good white wine and cognac! Out here we drink only beer which has an alcoholic content somewhat less than one tenth of 1%. We’ve been overseas more than 10 months! I don’t know just what significance such a statistic carries, but it sure then hell fills in the remaining space on this page, leaving just enough room, IF I WRITE IN LARGE LETTERS, TO SAY – LOVE TO ALL. DAN

And as the curtain comes down on the Little Theater of Broadway, all the actors having spoken their parts (excepting of course, my Dickie boy who is so shy in writing to his Dad), the applause has subsided, and the producer now briefly steps in front of the curtain to thank you for your interest and to bid you a pleasant good night.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll be posting more of The End of an Era.

If you find this view of ordinary life during World War II interesting, why not share this site with a friend or two? They may really appreciate it.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Muy Senor Mio – A Letter From Dan – Information Concerning His College Course – November 26, 1939

Dan and Butch - 1940

Daniel Beck Guion, after returning from Venezuela

November 26, 1939

Muy senor mio,

Su padre va a escribir a usted en buen espanol! Que piense usted de eso? Pere frankemente, no soysu padre. 

soy su hermano, escribiendo uma carta tarde. Si hay gramatico malo conozco mas espanol ahor que quando staba en Venezuela, pero no conozco mucho todavia.

After reading over one of el padre’s letters, he mentions that I have been using your car, then he goes on to say that the top blew off, the battery went dead, etc., etc., etc., but he fails to mention clearly that he is speaking of peep rather than your Packard. Actually, your Packard is still giving satisfactory service. The rips in the upholstery are exhibiting a normal growth, to be sure, and one of the front right springs has sprung a leaf, but the motor runs, and, in comparison to Ced’s peep, a “lemon” would taste like a nectarine, altho’ it is not entirely clear to me what a nectarine is, part of my logic insisting that it has something to do with the juice in Dad’s pipe, and the other half suggesting that it is perhaps a half-breed peach, which your friends might term a “mestizo”.

I have been interested lately in South American studies. I am considering a “career” in Latin America, but have more or less abandoned my plans to study geology. I should prefer a job which would afford a greater amount of travel and meeting people. Salesman for some U.S. Co. would be ideal. I am studying Spanish seriously, and have begun reading books on South America to get a broader education on the history, economics and geography of Latin America. In this connection I wrote to a School in Washington, DC called the School of Latin American Studies. I have reason to believe that this School is a foreign service school, perhaps majoring in diplomatic studies, but the director has promised to send me a catalog for the coming year. (the stuttering “m” which has appeared unexpectedly in the word “Coming” was entirely coincidental, and has no bearing whatsoever on actual words).

It is my turn to spend Thanksgiving at home (Dan and Uncle Ted Human left for Venezuela in October of 1939, so he missed the usual Trumbull Thanksgiving.) while you thrill to the festive spirit of the celebration de los llanos. I suppose that you americanos will sally forth with your trusty esopetas in search of a rash paguato or pava in the true old New England style! At that, it will be better than my last year’s Thanksgiving, for we spent that day working in the heavy November downpour around el rio Sivare, just west of Santa Rosa.

And speaking of el rio Sicare, I have been writing more elaborate accounts of some of my experiences in connection with a course I am taking at School. This serves a dual purpose. First, it supplies the assignments for my homework. Secondly, it preserves for posterity accounts of my more out-standing impressions of Western Venezuela. Do you remember the Shrine along the trail just past the rio Sicare, near Santa Rosa, the shrine with candles burning on it? I have written the story of that shrine ….. the Shrine of Jose del Carmen, as told me

I cannot find the other portion of this letter. I also was unaware of these accounts and will contact his children to see if they have them.

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Aunt Betty to Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (3) – More News From France – September 23, 1945

This is the final portion of Grandpa’s letter to his scattered family, wherever they are.

DBG - Dan andPaulette (Paulette - cropped) - 1945

Paulette (Van Laere) Guion

Rather than be separated from her for the better part of the year, I am taking steps to ensure that I remain over here as long as possible. I have applied for one of the university courses which will consume two months from its beginning date. Further, I understand that men eligible for discharge are allowed to volunteer for additional service up to Feb. 14, 1946, if they so desire. In the meantime I shall investigate the facilities of private transport in the hope that she will be able to get to America soon. She is still staying with Mr. and Mme. Rabet at 9 Rue Cuvier — a five minute walk from our billet. I have never met a couple more generous or kindly than these two elderly people. I have asked them to select a few items from the Montgomery-Ward (he means Sears-Roebuck) catalog. Mme Rabet, a nurse by profession, has just cured me of a badly infected throat, which I dared not entrust to the Army doctors for fear that I would be restricted to quarters, and as a result, would not be able to see “Chiche”. In every respect both have treated us as if we were their own children.

(Comment: Of course you should stay with “Chiche”, but what I want is for you to stay with her here. Leave no stone unturned to bring her home at the earliest possible moment, unless under the circumstances, she would prefer not to come until afterward. We shall get as much as possible of the list you sent. Are you sure of Mme’s bust measurement? Marion things it is extremely large.)

DBG - Dan and Paulette - Dan ( cropped) - 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

I needn’t tell you how much I am disappointed at having to postpone my homecoming, but time has a rather chronic habit of shuffling along, eilly-nilly, (I believe he meant to type “willy-nilly) and one day, not too far distant, I shall stumble over the milk bucket on the back porch as I grope my way toward the kitchen door. “Chiche” sends her love in hopes that you will all continue to write to her. She asks me every day if I have received a letter from home.

(Comment: Tell your little girl, Dan, how delighted I am at the news of the expected arrival, which would be doubly good if you could now write that all arrangements had been made for all three of you to stumble over said milk bucket. In the famous words; “Don’t give up the ship”, means either the airship or an ocean liner, whichever can get you over here in the best, quickest and safest way. In other words I am not taking your decision as final. The only thing that will make me bow to what will be considered in this instance as inevitable, is Paulette’s wishes in the matter, but outside of that, let neither of us quit struggling. I WANT YOU HOME BY CHRISTMAS. I want this year to put on a combination French-American Christmas celebration and she has got to be here to help with it)

I trust from the few hints I have given above that you may surmise I will stop at nothing that is legally and humanly possible to reverse your again  “stay in France” decision for the new Guion family, and I shall expect you to call upon me, in case I have not already made that fact clear, to do anything I can to make such a denouement possible.

For your information, I am attaching two additional copies of the American addition of the Guion wedding announcement. It never entered my head to send one to the Senechal’s although I should have done so, I can now see very plainly. I asked you for a list of people, friends of yours, rather than of the family, to whom you might wish a copy sent but this, along with other questions I have asked from time to time, has been blithely overlooked. I have a few more copies left. To whom do you wish them sent? Respond se vou plais. – Or words to that effect. And I still don’t know whether the Senechals like their coffee ground, course or fine or underground in bean form— third request. You will just have to get daughter Paulette to write me in American to give me these mundane details which a person who has attended Oxford and is a candidate for the Sorbonne, scorns to mention. Next you will be writing me you are taking a course at Leipzig instead of attending courses at the University of Trumbull. Es weiss nicht was sol les bedauten das Ich so trauig bin. There, that will hold you for a space.

Well, children, that’s the story for this week. The whole Guion family affairs laid out flat like the contents of Colgate’s toothpaste tube— comes out like a ribbon, lays flat on the floor. I wish I could get some order out of this post-war chaos. When will Dick and Jean be home, or won’t they? What’s going to happen to Lad’s furlough? How soon can MacArthur spare Dave? When is Ced flying home? Will I have a French or American grandson? Any information leading to the arrest of any of the above rumors, dead or alive, if stretched end to end, by the authority vested in me by the State of Connecticut, I pronounce you man and wife. I don’t know— I’m all mixed up. When somebody please straighten me out?

Your distracted

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, a Birthday letter to Dave from his ever-loving father.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (2) – News From France – September 23, 1945

This is the second portion of this letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Jean and Dick Guion

Oh Kay, Jeannie, old kid, we’ll do that little thing. And while I think of it, Dick, your insurance premium notice arrived the other day. Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I shall take care of it by my check in the regular way before it comes due. You’ll be interested, Jean, to know I received a nice letter from Marge (Mrs. Ted Southworth) the other day announcing their safe arrival at “Crosswinds, RFD West Sand Lake, N.Y.”. She says: “We want you to know we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Trumbull under the Guion roof and thank you for putting up with us. Ted has already started classes at R.I.P. (I believe Grandpa meant to type R.P.I, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY) in Troy  and finds it a little strange to be a student again. We will be living with Ted’s folks for a while as there is not much hope of finding anything in Troy at present. We have sort of a private apartment with “kitchen privileges”. I haven’t found any gainful employment yet but am working on it. I hope it won’t be too long before all the members of the Guion family will be together again. We certainly enjoyed reading their letters and meeting Lad. “Spintail” was overjoyed to see us again and is leading a very happy life here on the farm, free from strange dogs to fight with. He gets his exercise by chasing rabbits and woodchucks.”

Alaska was silent this week but I haven’t forgotten that threat: “Some time I may drop in unexpectedly at your office”, after landing, I suppose, in a Piper or something that he has just acquired, and hitchhiking in from the Stratford airport. Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream!

And now let’s turn the spotlight on the French theater of action. A Sept. 13th letter arrived on the 20th (regular mail, it says here) and one dated the 5th arrived on the 22nd. The composite result is somewhat as follows: The whole Senechal family is spending a few days in Drancy. They asked me to send their best regards to you all – – especially to Lad who, they know, is home at last. I no longer expect to be home this year.

(Comment. This is a bitter disappointment to me Dan, as you must realize, and I am not giving up without a struggle. I want to see my son – – I want very much to know my new daughter and I had very much hoped my little grandchild would open his little eyes first in good old Connecticut. Having stated that with all the sincerity and fervor of which I am capable, I must add that no matter how strong my wishes, or yours, Dan, might be, it is, after all, Paulette’s wishes that must, under the circumstances, come first. I can understand she might want to have her baby born among familiar surroundings rather than in a foreign country, yet I wonder if judging from the economic conditions in both countries, she wouldn’t be better off from every other standpoint if she were here. As for getting home, I understand the airlines have already started transatlantic service, and I imagine the fare is not out of reason. I am also going to make inquiries as to the resumption of steamship service. I understand some of the liners have already been returned by the Government to the steamship companies and regular service will soon be resumed.)

But to go on with the quotation. “The explanation is somewhat involved. “Chiche”, being pregnant, cannot travel by government transport until three months after the birth of the child, unless she leaves before her pregnancy has advanced more than four months. But with shipping as crowded as it is these days, even assuming that her visa could be hastened by political pressure from you back home, the chances are remote that the Army could find room for her before next year. She is expecting the child in April or May. Thus she will not be eligible for travel by government transport until July or August, 1946!

(Comment. I should hate to rely on any governmental pressure I could exert these days with all the red tape that would be necessary, although I would not hesitate to try, but I should think the best thing would be to forget the Army transport method and make it as a civilian, and that, as soon as you can be discharged, and she can find accommodations. And don’t let the expense deter you, because this is important enough to transcend any consideration of this sort just as long, at least, as you have a Dad to fall back on.)

Tomorrow, the final section of this letter with more information from France. Thursday and Friday I’ll post a Birthday letter to Dave from his Dad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Turkey Eaters (1) – Shortages and News From Dan – November 26, 1944

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa) .Obviously, this picture was not taken on Thanksgiving, 1944, but it shows a usual Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner at the Trumbull House.

Trumbull, Conn.,    Nov. 26, 1944

Dear Turkey Eaters:

“I see by the papers” that you boys, who are temporarily in Uncle Sam’s employ, all enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving with all the fixin’s, and by the way, was going us one better at home as we were unable to get either turkey or cranberry sauce, which is quite satisfactory if our lack means that you all really did “get the bird”. I have not yet heard the details of Ced’s holiday repast but if his last letter is any criterion, he too, gets things in Alaska we cannot get in Connecticut. For instance, he writes of a punch made from lemons. Now you may recall that in my last, I plagiarized Lewis Carroll a bit in that memorable passage where the Walrus said it was time to talk of ships and shoes and sealing wax and cabbages and Kings. Well, there is just as strange an assortment of items that are unobtainable here. There is the aforementioned lemons, which have been entirely unobtainable here for several months. Some attribute it to the black market, some to the fact that most of our former supply has come from California and the shipment from that point in refrigerator cars ties up so many of these limited supply of specialized railway equipment needed for men of the service that they simply have not been shipped. Then too, the recent hurricane destroyed the Florida crop, although Friday I was able to get a few Texas lemons that had just arrived. There is also a shortage of such diverse items as clothes pins, safety matches, linen sheets (cotton), canned salmon, cigarettes, canned corned beef, camera films, refrigerators and candy. There are of course many others, supplies of which appear on sale for a day or two, are bought up rapidly and again disappear for long periods. It gets so now that when you see anything on sale that you have formerly needed or may need in the future, unless you immediately buy it, you’re out of luck, when during the next day or so, you return again to make the purchase. Right now there is a shortage of anti-freeze. I should have bought a few, weeks ago, when I had the chance. All I have in the car now is what was left over from last year and it needs to be strengthened for very cold weather. Oh well, time will cure all these things.

It was a real Thanksgiving week for us here in the main as far as letters from you boys were concerned. Lad was the only one we did not hear from and that wasn’t his fault.

Dan-uniform (2)

Daniel Beck Guion

From “somewhere in France” the following very welcome message arrived (from Dan): “Roughing it again! (In a manner of speaking, that is) a good excuse to write a letter! I am sitting on an army cot in an abandoned Nazi barracks, somewhere in France. The pale light of a kerosene lamp acts as a monitor to my flailing pencil. In the corner, a wood stove adds its pungency to the heavy odor of kerosene fumes, while a group of boys are playing cribbage on an improvised table in the center of the room. On the door Jerry has left “Conchita”, a hard looking Spanish beauty, smoking a cigarette and staring impersonally toward the doorknob. Standing beside the stove is a burlap sack, plump with coke which we found near an abandoned gun sight. It will keep the chill from our slumber about 2 o’clock in the morning. After I have finished writing this letter I shall pay a visit to the café half a kilometer down the road. We shall sit in the kitchen talking to the proprietor whose husband is a prisoner of the Germans. We shall sip a glass of rather innocuous beer and lament the departure of more exciting spirits which accompanied Jerry back to Germany. We shall hear of the interminable air raids which, until recently, have been the daily lot of these French villagers for months before D-Day – – air raids launched by the British by night and the Americans by day – – bombings which brought both hope and despair with each explosion.

page 2     11/26/44

In this café kitchen, our illumination will be the bright jet of a carbide lamp, with a useless electric bulb hibernating in its socket waiting the day when current will again course through it’s filaments. At about 10 o’clock we shall bid good night to our hosts and return to our barracks – – return to our bunks where we shall slumber until the cook awakens us in time for breakfast. I have finally received one of the packages you sent last August. It was the one containing a French grammar, some hard water soap, chocolate, tobacco and Kodachrome film. I am continually amazed by the uncanny knack you have of sending me precisely the things I most appreciate. Each item mentioned above is priceless in this part of France where even our army rations are monotonous and sketchy. We dream of visions of such rarities as fresh milk, ice cream, fresh eggs, bananas, lettuce salad and a hundred and one other things that used to be commonplace and taken for granted – – a bathroom with hot and cold water and plenty of light for shaving, a bed with a mattress and two sheets, and a radio beside it, plenty of clean clothes and a place to keep them, an automobile to drive and freedom to go where you wish and stay as long as you want – – no checking out on “pass” and returning for bed check! Oh well, as the Frenchmen say, “Ca viendre!” which means in literal Yankeenese, “It won’t be long now.”

Dear Dan:

It is difficult for you to measure the amount of thrill the arrival of a letter from you carries with it. Perhaps this feeling is more highly colored by the fact that of all my soldier boys, you are nearer the danger point than any of the rest and nerves are stretched a bit taught here by the passing of time without a message from you, than in the case of the others who are not quite so close to the firing line. It also affords me considerable satisfaction to know that you have at least received one of the packages even though it took so many months to reach you. Our hearts are so anxious to do so much for our absent sons that the limited packages we finally get together with the feeling of its inadequacy, and sometimes with difficulty due to the shortage of goods here, we feel ought to arrive pronto to bear evidence of our goodwill, and then to have months go by is adding insult to injury. However, your letter is dated October 25th and bears a postmark of the 29th, so it has been almost a month en route, which may mean that by this time you may have received some of the other packages. As to my uncanny knack, my natural modesty compels me to admit (as you did in the case of the medal you were awarded) that the things you received were just those items you yourself expressed a desire to have, only it was so long ago you have probably forgotten it. Anyway, the bouquet must be returned to you for having foreseen so long ago just how welcome these items would be to you on that distant day when you first set foot on French soil. There is just one note missing from your letters and that is an answer to some question or at least some comment on the items in my letters to you so that I may know whether or not you are getting the home news which is regularly dispatched to you each and every week, with occasionally a V-mail letter in between. I hope you are far enough back so that Jerry’s artillery, air bombs or robots, are not too threatening. And the entire absence of any personal reference to your health, etc., leaves the door wide open for bothersome imaginings. With Lad probably overseas and Dave sooner or later to take the same trip, they too ought to take note of an anxious family’s natural desire to know how you all are faring. Dick, thank heavens is far removed from shell craters and Ced has only Jack Frost to contend with, but just the same, a reassuring note now and again will not be unwelcome, as concerns your physical well-being.

Tomorrow, a short post with news from Dave  and on Friday, news from Ced and Grandpa’s usual comments.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Reader – The End of an Era (3) – July 21, 2021

The Trumbull House has been sold.  From what I understand, the new owner plans to create nine one room Studio Apartments in the main house, two more apartments in the barn and to add on to the Little House to form a home for his family.

I will be devoting at least the next few weekends – maybe many more – to a Memorial of the house that has been an anchor for my family for almost 100 years and to the people who made it a HOME.

I find it especially hard to decide what to post because I have been writing about this house and the people who lived there, daily, for almost 9 years. Do I want to focus on the individuals – special events – everyday events – pictures – I just cannot decide which direction to choose. This weekend I am going to focus on pictures of the six chidren who spent their childhood there – Lad, my Dad (Alfred Peabody); Dan (Daniel Beck); Ced (Cedric Duryee); Biss (Elizabeth Westlin); Dick (Richard Peabody) and Dave (David Peabody).

Last weekend I posted the earliest pictures taken of the children. This weekend, I will post some more pictures of them through the years in Trumbull.

Lad @ 1922

                            Lad @ 1923

SOL - Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad & Biss with their dog

                                       Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss @ 1925

It appears that Patsy, their dog, has found something that interests all of the children.

Guion Kids on side porch - @ 1928

Guion children on side porch about 1928

Dan, Dave, Lad, Dick, Ced, Biss

Guion kids as adults - posed as 1928 photo - 1992

This picture is out of order but it was taken at our Family Reunion in 1992. They posed in the approximate position of the 1928 photo above. This was the last time all six children were together.

Standing – Lad, Seated – Dan, Dave, Dick, Ced and Biss.

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Steps and Landings, steps and landings - @1928

This picture was probably taken in the spring of 1929.

Back row: Grandpa and Lad; Middle row: Dick, Ced, Aunt Dorothy

Front row: Don Stanley (cousin), Dave, Biss, Gwen Stanley (cousin)

Tomorrow I will post more about the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (3) – Quotes From Internationalist Dan – September 16, 1945

Daniel & Paulette's wedding - 1945

Daniel Beck and Paulette (Van Laere) Guion on July 17th, 1945

And Internationalist Dan writes way back on August 25th, by regular, not airmail, “Mail service is immensely improved— 5 to 6 days by airmail. Thus I am answering your August 19th letter today; and a rather amusing situation it is too, reading your account of how the war ended in Trumbull, because over here it is not yet official although we are convinced that the formality alone is lacking. But the spontaneity of celebration seems to have suffered an even greater blow than that of VE day because of rumors and preliminary reports. No tolling of bells, no blowing of horns, no demonstration of any kind has marked the end of the war, in Drancy, although I understand that the Yanks in downtown Paris cut up a bit on 16th of Aug. I am excited at the prospect of Lad’s getting home so unexpectedly. If only it is true! And if only I had known! Speaking of getting home, I hope you can send me those articles for Paulette as soon as possible because I might be leaving soon. She will not be able to leave for a matter of months because she must wait for an immigration visa from Philadelphia. Also if pregnant (which seems definite) she might be prohibited from sailing on any Army transport until the child is three months old. There is always the alternative of civilian transportation but waiting lists are long and space is limited. It seems that we must just make the best of it. While I remain in

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France it is feasible to send parcels but whether or not it will be possible after I leave I cannot say. So please don’t wait for the fall and winter catalog. Enclosed are two belated letters, one to Marian and the other to Jean that Chiche wrote last May. They were mailed to me while I was in Maastricht but were returned to Calais undelivered. We are both excited about the “expectations”. Chiche asks if it is possible to buy wool in America. She wants six lobs of wool, two each of pink, light blue and white. Our Army program is undergoing the throes of reorganization. We are hoping to get a good educational program started and perhaps I can take the Paris University course. It looks now as if I might get home in November or December. If you get a chance, please write a letter of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Rabet, 5 rue Cuvier, Drancy, Seine, France. They have given us (Chiche and I) every form of hospitality imaginable and will not accept any money for it. I manage to find small presents for them such as cigarettes and soap but I feel very much in debt to them. Most of their food is bought on the black market because the legal ration is too slim. They particularly miss meat. If you can find any kind of canned meat or fish, please send it.

(Cease quotes. Red (Don Sirene) dropped in a while ago to see Lad, who is at present touring New England with his wife, and was accompanied by his fiancée, Geraldine Fisher. He asked me if I had seen the Bpt. Herald (Bridgeport Herald newspaper) headline which read: “Corp. Sirene wins Syracuse belle”. He said Jack Filman and Bill Palmer were fresh out of the service and that Barbara Plumb (Dan’s former girlfriend, who enlisted as a WAC) was expected home in November.)

Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll post the final segments of this letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chillens (4) – Questions From Grandpa – September 9, 1945

In this section of the letter, Grandpa askes Dan many questions about Paulette’s family and confirming again to Paulette that he and Marian are very happy to shop for whatever she wants and needs.

Now Dan, as for that camera part. Lad seems to know exactly what you want and he spent the better part of an afternoon this past week going all over Bridgeport’s camera stores to try to locate the missing ring. I do not recall your sending it with the other parts, and Lad has looked for it in the trunk where I put your parts that you sent home, but he is having Zeke hand make something that Lad things will do the trick and we shall try to get it off this week with some of the things for Paulette which Marion went shopping for in Bridgeport last week, before we received your later lists. I am very much afraid the coat will exceed the weight limit. As for the Schick razor, Lad says he has one he will give you. In looking for the adapter ring in your trunk, he came across a Rolls razor and was sorry he had not asked you to buy him one when you were in London. I told him I didn’t think you would mind if, as long as you were sending you his Schick, he took your Rolls. If you have to fight it out I’ll be the referee. As for the wristwatch, that’s too indefinite for so important an item. Refer again to the Sears catalog, and based on the three models illustrated on page 473, give me some idea of style, size, shape and approximate cost so we will have some idea to shoot at. As a hasty and much belated answer to your question asked long ago, you say tea, coffee, cocoa and soap are always welcome. I assume you referred to the Senechal’s, as I did. You may recall I asked if they wanted coffee in beam (if they have their own grinder) or if desired ground, how fine and for what type of coffee maker? Do they like Black, Green or Oolong tea? As to soap, laundry or toilet? I quite agree with you in regard to Paulette’s wardrobe. Tell her— no, send her in here and I’ll talk to her myself. See here, girl, don’t ever get the idea it is imposing on us to have Dan give us a list of the things you want. It is a real pleasure to do little things for others, particularly when one has the satisfaction of knowing they are really things the other fellow wants and needs. It shows a fine feeling on your part not wanting to put other people to trouble on your account, but Marian, upon whom falls most of the brunt of choosing with her women’s taste, the clothes for you, enjoys shopping, and particularly for you, and the funds are Dan’s, which he has thriftily, in months past, sent on to me to keep for him. So, everything considered, it would be quite a disappointment if we couldn’t do these little things to show just how much we think of “our little French girl”.

Tomorrow, the final section of this letter with comments from Grandpa and news from Dave.

Judy Guion